|Both school levies passed|
|Written by Editor|
|Friday, 11 November 2011 17:02|
Tipp City schools display their gratitude to the community.
By CECILIA FOX
The Tipp City School District’s l9.61-mill levy passed easily, with 62.93 percent of the vote. That’s 3,642 votes in favor of the levy and 2,122 against. Milton-Union’s levy barely passed, with just 55.95 percent of the vote. According to the Miami County Board of Elections’ website, that’s 2,001 yes votes to 1,578 nays.
“We’re very appreciative of the community support of our schools. This levy was very much needed and the community saw that need,” said Dr. John Kronour, the superintendent for the Tipp City School District.
The Tipp district has endured recent cuts in funding from the state and may face more in the next year, but the passage of this levy will generate $3.6 million and will provide funding for educational programs, employee salaries, and other operational costs.
Before the election, Kronour said that the district has tried to deal with the cuts without going to the voters. This has meant a district wide wage freeze, a reduction in staff through attrition (not replacing employees who retire or resign), and the institution of a pay-to-play system.
“I just want to say thank you to all the people who put in the effort and hard work to support us,” said Kronour.
The Milton-Union levy was originally passed in 1992 and has been in place for nearly 20 years. The long-lived levy will last another five years, for which school officials are grateful.
“We obviously very pleased and thankful to the community,” said Chuck Klein, the school district’s treasurer.
The 17-mill levy may have intimidated some voters, but Superintendent Virginia Rammel said that the large number reflects the rate of inflation since the levy was first passed. The levy raises the same amount of money as a new 8.6-mill levy would.
Board member Shelley Swigart points out that the margin of passage of this renewal levy is similar to the numbers of the bond levy passed to build the new school.
“We’re really grateful those same people have continued to support the school,” said Swigart.
The levy will raise about $1.6 million annually. The money raised by the levy will be used for classroom supplies, employees’ salaries and benefits, fuel expenses and utilities, and other maintenance. Like the Tipp City schools, Milton-Union has faced cuts and has had to make difficult decisions like eliminating administrative, teaching and non-teaching positions, as well as instituting a wage freeze.
“We’re going to continue to watch our dollars and cents to make sure we spend every penny wisely,” said Chuck Klein.
The Milton-Union district spends the least amount of dollars per student in the county and was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for attaining high student achievement at low cost.
Milton-Union receives the second lowest amount of local revenue per pupil in the county, $3,930 per pupil. Local revenue accounts for 46 percent of the total operating budget, with the remaining money coming from state and federal aid.